Posts Tagged ‘proverbs 31’

Proverbs 31 – Eshet Chayil

Proverbs 31 is another writing where each sentence begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alef bet. I wondered if the Hebrew letter pictures had any significance to what was written.  Here’s the result using the Orthodox Jewish Bible.

Alef – Ox Head (strong, powerful leader)

Who can find an eshet chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife)?   Her value is far beyond that of pearls.

A man is looking for a strong, powerful, brave courageous woman who has the value of a valuable pearl. 

Bet – A Tent (family)

The lev of her ba’al (the heart of her husband)  securely trusts in her so that he shall have no lack of gain.

The eshet chayil will keep the heart of her husband. 

Gimel – Camel (lift up, self-will, pride)

She will do him tov (good)  and not rah (harm) all the days of her life.

The eshet chayil will not walk in her own self-will and pride, but will lift up her husband in goodness as long as she lives.  

Dalet – Door (entrance, pathway)

She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.

The eshet chayil is the pathway of life for her family. She works with her hands during times of cold (wool) and heat (flax).   

Wool and flax represent the salvation/redemption message.  Wool is the covering of a lamb.  We receive the covering for our sins from a lamb.  The priesthood wore linen and fine linen is  given to the Bride of Messiah as a symbol of her righteous acts.

Hey – Man with Arms Raised (look, reveal, behold)

She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.

The eshet chayil travels like a merchant ship looking for the best nourishment for her family revealed in faraway places. 

Vav – Tent Peg (secure, binding)

She rises also while it is yet lailah (nighttime), and provides food to her bayit (household) and a portion to her na’arot (servant girls).

The eshet chayil  brings security to her home even in darkness and is bound to generosity to those who serve her.  

Zayin – Weapon (divide, cut, nourish)

She considers a field, then buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

The eshet chayil is rightly divides the needs of her family and works with her hands so that she can bring forth nourishing fruit – planting a vineyard. 

Chet – Fence (separate, protect, inner room)

She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms.

The eshet chayil protects her family’s inner room with her heart.  

Tet – Snake (surround, twist)

She sees that her business dealings are good; her ner (lamp) does not go out at night.

The eshet chayil keeps herself and her family from from the darkness of the evil one (snake).  She is wise and discerning and surrounds herself with those who do not twist the Truth.  The lamp of the Word is always on her lips. 

Yod – Arm and Closed Hand (finished work, throw)

She puts her hands to the distaff with the flax; her fingers to the spinning rod.

The eshet chayil keeps all things spinning and weaving so as to complete her work. She keeps to her own affairs as a Bride of Messiah busy in her own home, teaching the next generation.   

Kof – Open Hand (allow, bend, open)

She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

The eshet chayil has an open hand of hospitality, taking care of the widow and the fatherless.  She bends to the poor, the homeless, and those in need.  

Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff (leader, one who guides)

When it snows,  she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.

The eshet chayil looks toward the future and prepares.  Her household is ready for winter and everything that comes with it: snow, cold, illness, provisions.

Mem – Water (water, mighty, chaos)

She makes her own coverings;  she is clothed in fine linen and scarlet (purple).

The eshet chayil not only makes coverings for her family’s needs, but also for herself.   She covers herself as is appropriate for a mighty ‘queen’ in linen and purple. 

Nun – Fish (life)

Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.

The eshet chayil brings forth life to her husband giving him the liberty to sit at the city gates with leaders. 

Samech – To Prop (support)

She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.

The eshet chayil supports the community and the local merchants with her talents.   

Ayin – Eye (see, understand)

Oz (strength) and hadar (dignity) are her clothing; and her smile is toward the yom acharon (coming day, future).

The eshet chayil is a woman who understands integrity and dignity.  She sees that she is prepared for the coming days – physically as well as spiritually.  She has prepared herself, her family, and her husband and can smile at the days ahead. 

Peh – Mouth (speak, words, mouth of a river)

When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her lashon (tongue)  is torah chesed (loving instruction).

The eshet chayil is a river of life with her wisdom, always instruction God’s words of life through love. 

Tzadik – Fishhook (desire, pull toward)

She watches how things go in her house, not eating the lechem atzlut (bread of idleness).

The eshet chayil does not pulled toward the ‘rat race’ of life.  Her home is her desire and her focus is there.  She does not become ‘caught in the fishook’ of  gossip and slander that accompanies idleness.

Qoof – Back of the Head( setting of the sun, what is behind,  final)

Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:

The eshet chayil never looks to what is past and uses her time wisely.  She is blessed as the sun sets on the horizon of her day (yom), week (Sabbath), month (Rosh Chodesh), year (Teruah), and lifetime.   

Resh – Head of a Man (first, authority, head)

Rabbot (Many women) have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all.

The eshet chayil surpasses all other women because her spiritual life comes first and her authority is her head (1 Corinthians 11:2-8).

Shin – Teeth (sharp, consume, glory)

Chen (charm) is sheker (deceitful), and yofi (beauty) is fleeting, but an ish Yirat Hashem  (a woman who fears Yahweh), she shall be praised.

The eshet chayil is consumed with her faith (fear) of Yahweh; there is no deceit found in her as she brings glory to God. 

Tau – Two Sticks Crossing (sign, covenant)

Give her of the p’ri (fruit) of her yadayim (hands); and let her own works praise her at the city gates.

The eshet chayil has the sign of the covenant, the sign of her relationship with her husband.  She is a woman who is known at the city gates because of the work she does in her home and community while providing for her family and servants, preparing food and dealing with business in the market square. 

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